A senior NYPD officer was found dead in his car on Long Island on 13 May, after FBI agents visited his home for a second time. Inspector Michael Ameri, 44, is believed to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound just hours after being questioned in a growing federal corruption probe.
The commanding officer of the Police Department's Highway District reportedly "felt his career was in jeopardy" over an ongoing investigation into a gifts-for-favours scandal involving police officers and influential New York businessmen.
Speaking to the Daily News, an unidentified law enforcement source said that the FBI had visited Ameri's house just days before he apparently committed suicide.
Another source told the New York Post: "He was very distraught about the visit. He felt his career was in jeopardy, and he couldn't deal with the stress and not knowing when everything was going to come to a head."
No link to scandal
A statement released by the NYPD read: "The Suffolk County Police Department informed the New York City Police Department that Inspector Michael Ameri, Commanding Officer of the Highway Patrol Unit, was found deceased in his vehicle of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in Babylon, New York. The Suffolk County Police Department will be conducting an investigation and we refer you to them for any further details about this incident."
Ameri was found dead in the unmarked vehicle at the Bergen Point Golf Course in West Babylon, Suffolk County, three miles from his home. There is no indication that he was under investigation and it is unclear whether federal or state authorities were seeking his cooperation in a corruption probe, according to the New York Times.
"We are saddened to learn of the passing of Inspector Michael Ameri," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time." Two of de Blasio's major donors are at the heart of the corruption probe.
Investigators are looking into whether businessmen including Jeremy Reichberg, 42, and Jona Rechnitz, 33 gave cash, diamonds and trips abroad to police officers in return for favours.
Ameri had been praised in local media for his efforts to make the Park Slope area of New York friendly for cyclists. Members of the NYPD have taken to Twitter to express their condolences.
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